One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Is Your Child's Car Seat Fitted Properly?
Hampshire launches it's annual free car seat checking clinics.
The first takes place today, Wednesday 30 March, at Sainsbury's Broadcut store in Fareham from 10am until 4pm.
The Fit it Right events, organised by Hampshire County Council, ensure that people get authoritative advice on the best type of in-car child safety seat for their vehicle and the proper method of installation.
Statistics from last year's Fit it Right campaign revealed, on average, that more than three quarters of children, across Hampshire, are inadvertently being transported in cars dangerously due to badly fitted car seats. The checks showed that, in some cases, as many as eight out of 10 child car seats were incorrectly fitted, and that many parents and carers are unhappy with the lack of advice provided by car seat retailers.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council, said that these results gave 'cause for concern' and 'emphasises there is a serious need to continue to offer car seat checking events in Hampshire for this coming year.'
Fit it Right is a child car seat checking campaign, designed to ensure that babies and children are safely restrained while travelling in the car. Since its launch in 2008, the County Council has run an annual series of special car seat clinics throughout Hampshire, to help parents and guardians ensure their child seats are correctly fitted.
Of the 1,198 seats checked at the clinics since the first clinic in 2008, 385 needed refitting completely. Worse still, 18% of those checked were unsuitable for the type of car they were in.
In addition, results from Road Safety GB's Good Egg Guide - car seat checking survey - found that of those who bought new car seats, more than half of respondents (64%) did not receive any advice from a trained retailer, or were not asked about the height and weight of their child. Nor were they asked what make and model of car the seat would be fitted into.
Councillor Kendal, said:
"Parents and carers often don't realise that different cars require different types of safety seat and often think that their child is properly protected when this may not be the case.
"If seats are not fit for purpose it could literally mean the difference between life and death. Our Fit it Right events are organised to help parents and guardians get the service and reassurance that their loved ones are safer, and we need to be offering these checks to make a genuine difference in reducing the number of child casualties on the roads."
Find out more by visiting the campaign website www.hants.gov.uk/roadsafety
Venues and dates for child car seat clinics in 2011 - all clinics are 10am to 4pm
Wednesday 30 March at Sainsburys Broadcut
Wed 13 April at Tesco Store, Caird Avenue
Wed 11 May at Sainsburys, Wallop Drive
Wed 15 June at Tesco Store, River Way
Thurs 14 July at Tesco Extra, Solent Road
Thurs 8 September at Tesco Store, Wellington Avenue
Wed 28 September at Tesco Store, The Causeway
Thurs 20 October at Tesco Store, Easton Lane
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